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Nippon Steel and Idemitsu tackle plastic waste in recycling push

Sending material overseas no longer viable in pandemic era

Of nearly 9 million tons of plastic waste Japan generated in 2018, 1.4 million ended up incinerated or in landfills. (Photo by Keiichiro Sato)

TOKYO -- Nippon Steel and other industrial stalwarts of Japan are strengthening efforts to make use of plastic waste instead of shipping it abroad.

In addition to conventional recycling, companies are tapping waste plastic as an energy source and to extract materials that can be used in the manufacturing process. These moves have been prompted by a decline in plastic waste exports resulting from Chinese regulations and the pandemic-induced downturn.

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